September 18, 2023

Three More Pro-Lifers Jailed After Second DC FACE Act Trial

On September 15, three more pro-life activists were found guilty of "conspiracy against rights" and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act during the second trial for a pro-life rescue in October 2020. Like the first group of pro-lifers sentenced at the end of August, these defendants were immediately jailed for committing a "crime of violence."

74-year-old Joan Bell, 73-year-old Jean Marshall, and 41-year-old Jonathan Darnel could each face 11 years in prison and $350,000 in fines. All eight activists, including those found guilty in the first trial, await sentencing.

"engaged in a conspiracy to create a blockade at the reproductive health care clinic to prevent the clinic from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services. As part of the conspiracy, Marshall and Bell traveled to the Washington, D.C. area to meet with Darnel and participate in a clinic blockade that was directed by another co-conspirator and broadcast on Facebook.

According to evidence presented at trial, Marshall and Bell were among a group that forcefully entered the clinic and blockaded two clinic doors using their bodies, furniture, chains and ropes. Once the blockade was established, Darnel – who remained outside the clinic – live-streamed their activities on social media. The evidence also showed that the defendants violated the FACE Act by using a physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with the clinic’s employees and a patient because they were providing or obtaining reproductive health services."